Frodlund M, Nived P, Chatzidionysiou A, Södergren A, Klingberg E, Bengtsson A, Hansson M, Olsson S, Pin E, Klareskog L, Kapetanovic MC
Vaccine - (-) - [2023-04-04; online 2023-04-04]
To elucidate antibody responses after the second and third dose of COVID-19 vaccine in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRD) treated with biologic/targeted disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (b/ts DMARDs). Antibody levels to antigens representing spike full length protein and spike S1 were measured before vaccination, 2-12 weeks after the second dose, before and after the third dose using multiplex bead-based serology assay. Positive antibody response was defined as antibody levels over cut off (seropositivity) in seronegative individuals or ≥ 4-fold increase in antibodies in individuals seropositive for both spike proteins. Patients (n = 414) receiving b/ts DMARDs (283 had arthritis, 75 systemic vasculitis and 56 other autoimmune diseases) and controls (n = 61) from five Swedish regions participated. Treatments groups were: rituximab (n = 145); abatacept (n = 22); Interleukin 6 receptor inhibitors [IL6i (n = 79)]; JAnus Kinase Inhibitors [JAKi (n = 58)], Tumour Necrosis Factor inhibitor [TNFi (n = 68)] and Interleukin12/23/17 inhibitors [IL12/23/17i (n = 42)]. Percentage of patients with positive antibody response after two doses was significantly lower in rituximab (33,8%) and abatacept (40,9%) (p < 0,001) but not in IL12/23/17i, TNFi or JAKi groups compared to controls (80,3%). Higher age, rituximab treatment and shorter time between last rituximab course and vaccination predicted impaired antibody response. Antibody levels collected 21-40 weeks after second dose decreased significantly (IL6i: p = 0,02; other groups: p < 0,001) compared to levels at 2-12 week but most participants remained seropositive. Proportion of patients with positive antibody response increased after third dose but was still significantly lower in rituximab (p < 0,001). Older individuals and patients on maintenance rituximab have an impaired response after two doses of COVID-19 vaccine which improves if the time between last rituximab course and vaccination extends and also after an additional vaccine dose. Rituximab patients should be prioritized for booster vaccine doses. TNFi, JAKi and IL12/23/17i does not diminished humoral response to primary and an additional vaccination.